Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Luxury Dinner Party! Project Food Blog Challenge #3

October 3rd, 2010 · 49 Comments


Luxury Fall Dinner Party

Project Food Blog Challenge

Making it through to the third round of the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog challenge presented by Buick Lacrosse, is both humbling and exciting, but most importantly an honor to be among the next group of two-hundred food bloggers participating in the contest. I also want to thank everyone who has voted for me in each step of the way, your support is amazing, and I hope to continue to inspire with my contributions.

Feeling Fall in the air

Feeling Fall in the air

Fall has finally caught up with the season of change here in our part of the country, temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and clear brisk air is whipping around. With the fall season comes a crop of seasonal bounty with fruits and vegetables, all which is the inspiration for the menu I have selected in the luxury dinner party challenge. From acorn squash, carrots, apples, in the soup, Vermont cheddar and fresh rosemary in the bread sticks, to pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, artichoke hearts, pears, and Belgian endive inspiring the entrée, and finally, bourbon, sweet potatoes and walnuts with the dessert.

I will also give you some organizing notes and tips at the end of the recipes that will help you in planning a similar menu for your home, some tips are recipe specific, and some are planning tips for multi-tasking in the kitchen.

Monique's beautiful Fall table setting

Monique’s beautiful Fall table setting

Monique decorated and set the table and decorations, the lovely Fall table cloth, place mats, napkins and seasonal decorations. When she pulls out the seasonal decorations it is a sure sign that the holidays are just around the corner. Thank you so much Monique for setting up a great dining room!

Friends and Family at the dinner table

Friends and Family at the dinner table

So please sit back, relax, and enjoy the Cajun Chef Ryan Luxury Fall Dinner Party!

Luxury Fall Dinner Party Menu

Luxury Fall Dinner Party Menu. (PDF, 1pp, 98KB)

This three course meal actually includes seven separate recipes to complete, so without further ado, I present you with the recipes for the Luxury Fall Dinner Party.


For the first course I chose to do a fall soup, Acorn Squash Soup to be exact, and once dinner was served the comments from the guests included how they could really taste the fall flavors in the soup, which, our guest Heather said it reminded her of how fall would taste if it were put into a bowl. These were such nice comments on this, the first course – soup.

Getting Started
Acorn Squash Soup
Roasted acorn squash, carrots, onions, leeks, Granny Smith apples, and holiday spices blended with cream and served with Vermont Cheddar Rosemary Bread Sticks

Acorn Squash Soup

Ingredients
3 Each Acorn squash, halved, seeds removed
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 Each Carrots, chopped
1 Each Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1 Med. Onion, chopped
1 Med. Leek, cleaned and chopped
½ Tsp. Ginger, ground
¼ Tsp Allspice, ground
4 Cups Chicken or vegetable stock
1 Cup Heavy Cream
To taste Salt and white pepper
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
     
Procedure Steps: Preheat oven 350° F.
1.
Acorn Squash cooling on baking sheet.

On a baking sheet, place the acorn squash, cut side down, and then add a little water and cover with foil, then roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, and then scoop out the squash flesh and set aside.

2.
Sauté the carrot, apple, onion, and leek in the olive oil until soft.
Simmer over low heat for 20 – 30 minutes.

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the carrot, apple, onion, and leek in the olive oil until soft, stirring occasionally, then season with ginger and allspice, and then add the squash and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil while stirring well, and then reduce heat to a simmer over low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor until smooth and return to the pot.
4. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for another 5 minutes then and keep warm.
  Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

To Serve: Remove the soup pot from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls, then garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with the warm bread sticks.

Acorn Squash Soup with Vermont Cheddar Rosemary Bread Sticks

Acorn Squash Soup with Vermont Cheddar Rosemary Bread Sticks

Vermont Cheddar Rosemary Bread Sticks

Ingredients
Cups All-purpose flour, unbleached
½ Cup Cornmeal
1 Tbsp Baking powder
½ Tsp Sea salt
¼ Lb. Butter, unsalted (1 stick), cold, diced
4 Oz. Vermont Cheddar cheese, shredded
Tbsp Rosemary, fresh, chopped
½ Cup Skim milk, non-fat
1 Tbsp Honey
     
Procedure Steps: Preheat oven to 425°F.
1. Stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt
2. Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, then add the cold cut butter, and process until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Turn out the mixture into a large bowl, and then stir in the cheese and rosemary. (NOTE: If you do not have a food processor cut the butter into the dry mixture using two knives in a crosscut fashion.)
3. Combine the milk and honey in a separate bowl, make a well in the dry ingredients, and then pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, stirring with a large spoon until a soft dough forms. Work quickly and do not over mix.
4.
Knead the dough for about ten strokes.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about ten strokes.

5.
Cut out sticks of dough 1/2-inch wide.

Using a rolling pin roll out the dough in a rectangle until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut out sticks of dough 1/2-inch wide. Twist them into a spiral and space them about 1/2-inch apart on two un-greased baking sheet pans. Gather up the scraps, gently form into another rectangle, and cut, and then place on the sheet pans.

6. Bake the bread sticks in the preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Makes about 20 bread sticks.

TIP: The bread sticks can be prepared, and placed on the sheet pan and covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 4 hours before baking time. When ready to serve, have the pre-heated oven ready and place the sheet pans in the oven about 25 minutes before you are ready serve the soup.
Vermont Cheddar Rosemary Bread Sticks

Vermont Cheddar Rosemary Bread Sticks


For the second course I chose to do a chicken breast which is encrusted with pumpkin seeds seasoned with my Cajun spice blend, then sautéed in butter and served with an Artichoke Beurre Blanc sauce, which is one of my variations on the classic French white wine butter sauce. I also selected to do a side item of Braised Belgium Endive with Pears. Our guest Tony said that the chicken was seasoned perfectly, not too spicy, but the subtle hints of Cajun spice added a really nice touch. Dawn said that the chicken was so moist and tender, and the crunchy texture of the crust was amazing. And our guest Cherie said “Wow, look at this, the garnish is so nice” when I served her plate.

The Main Event
Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cajun Artichoke Beurre Blanc
Boneless chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese, then sautéed with a pumpkin seed Cajun spiced crust, and served over Cajun artichoke hearts in a white wine butter cream sauce
Served with a side of Braised Belgian Endive and Pears

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cajun Artichoke Beurre Blanc

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken Breasts with Cajun Artichoke Beurre Blanc

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken Breasts

Ingredients
4 Each Boneless chicken breasts
8 Ounces Goat cheese, cut into four even pieces
2 Cups Pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 Tbsp Cajun spice blend
2 Tsp Thyme, fresh chopped
½ Tsp Garlic salt
2 Large Eggs, beaten
¼ Cup Milk
2 Cups Flour, seasoned with salt and white pepper
¼ Cup Clarified butter
To taste Salt and white pepper, divided
Procedure Steps
1. Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and flatten slightly with a mallet. Then cut a slit into each chicken breast and stuff them each evenly with two ounces of goat cheese. Season the outside lightly with salt and white pepper and reserve.
2. Place toasted and cooled pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor and grind, leaving them a bit chunky, and then add the Cajun spice blend, thyme, and garlic salt. Transfer this to a large bowl.
3. Combine the beaten egg with the milk and then transfer this mixture to another large bowl to make the egg wash.
4. Combine the flour with the salt and white pepper and into a third large bowl.
5. Take the stuffed and seasoned chicken breasts and dip them first into the flour mixture, then the egg wash mixture, and finally into the pumpkin seeds, shaking off any excess coating, but ensuring an evenly well coated piece of chicken.
6. Sauté the coated chicken breasts in the clarified butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with the Cajun Artichoke Beurre Blanc sauce (see below)
TIP: The chicken breasts can be breaded ahead of time and placed on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, then covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 hour before sautéing.

Cajun Artichoke Beurre Blanc

Ingredients
½ Lb. Butter, softened, divided
1 Tbsp Shallots, minced
1 ½ Cups Artichoke hearts
1 Tsp Cajun spice blend
½ Cup White wine
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
To taste Salt and white pepper
Procedure Steps
1. Cut butter into small cubes and bring to room temperature.
2. In the meantime, coat a sauté pan with just a little butter and then sweat the shallots until soft, and then add the artichoke hearts and Cajun spice blend and allow the artichokes to soften up for about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the white wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer, then reduce to almost dry, or au sec.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in the butter cubes until smooth a smooth and creamy consistency, then season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
TIP: This sauce will not keep for long as the butter will solidify within 30 – 40 minutes. To keep the sauce at the proper consistency, you can place it into a double boiler with a lukewarm water bath that is kept at around 76° F. or room temperature.

Braised Belgian Endive and Pears

Ingredients
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Sugar
4 Heads Belgian endive, brown and damaged leaves removed, halved lengthwise
1 Each Pear, cored, sliced into 16 segments
¼ Cup White wine
½ Cup Chicken stock
1 Each Lemon, juiced
1 Tsp Thyme leaves, chopped
To taste Salt and white pepper
1 Tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped

 

Procedure Steps
1. In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the sugar and stir well to dissolve.
2.
Cook Belgian Endive until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Place the endive in the butter-sugar mixture, cut side down. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, lowering the heat if the butter starts to burn.

3.
Turn the endive back over and add the pear slices.

Turn the endives over and brown the other side, about 3 to 5 more minutes. Turn the endive back over and add the pear slices, then add the white wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the chicken broth, cover and cook until tender and the endives can be easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
5. Uncover and add the lemon juice and thyme and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Season, to taste, with the salt and pepper. Add the parsley, toss and serve.

TIP: If holding the endives before service, transfer them to a heat-proof dish and cover, then keep in a warm oven at 170° F.

Transfer the braised Belgian endive and pears to a heat-proof dish and cover.

Transfer the braised Belgian endive and pears to a heat-proof dish and cover.


The third and last course is a dessert recipe inspired from a classic Southern side dish served at many a Thanksgiving and Christmas feast. These Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes takes it inspiration from a Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole that I make every year, and is always a hit, most folks say that it is so sweet it could be a dessert. Here is the dessert treat inspired from a holiday classic side dish, Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Ryan decorating the cupcakes.

Ryan decorating the cupcakes.

After a short intermission and rest, I went ahead and iced and decorated the cupcakes, I gave Cherie my camera with instructions to snap a few of me icing and decorating. Once a few more final snaps were taken, we served the final course, and everyone went silent. Then Tony said that he really liked the way the bourbon was in the icing and how the explosion of the liquor flavor coated the entire palate. I decorated the cupcakes with the icing, then topped with some toasted mini-marshmallows, candies walnuts, and praline brittle.

A Sweet Finish
Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Sweet potato cupcakes with a Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing

Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Ingredients
1 Cup Un-bleached, All-purpose flour
1 Tsp Baking powder
½ Tsp Cinnamon, ground
¼ Tsp Baking soda
¼ Tsp Salt
½ Cup Butter, un-salted, softened>
¾ Cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 Tbsp Bourbon
1 Cup Sweet potatoes (unsweetened), mashed
½ Tsp Vanilla extract
   
1 Recipe Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing, see below

 

Procedure Steps
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside.
2. In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes, Bourbon and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick).
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely.
5. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes. Or if you do not have cake decorating tools, place Cream Cheese Frosting in large resealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/4-inch opening in one corner of bag, then pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing: In large mixing bowl beat four ounces cream cheese (1/2 package), softened, and 1/3 cup butter, softened, with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons bourbon and beat until combined. Beat in 4 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth and of a good piping consistency. This is enough icing for twelve cupcakes, plus a little left over.

Make Ahead Tip: Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in airtight containers up to 1 month. Store frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Decorating Tips: For the toasted mini-marshmallows I greased a sheet pan and stood up about 50 or so of them and then browned under the broiler for several minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they would not burn. Once cooled I transferred the toasted mini-marshmallows to a small bowl. For the candied walnuts and brittle, I took about 2 tablespoons of butter and melted it with about 2 tablespoons of sugar then added about 1 cup of walnut pieces and cooked them all down on a high heat, stirring constantly until toasted and a praline-like consistency. Then I poured out the walnuts and sauce onto a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Once cool I transferred the candied walnuts and then broke up the praline brittle into small pieces.

Menu Planning and Meal Preparation Tips

  1. Get all your recipes together and start building your grocery list, some items you may have on hand and some you will not. List all the ingredients, some will be found in several recipes, just keep adding the total amounts you will need. Once you have all the ingredients listed and totaled up the quantities go to your pantry and kitchen and start crossing out the items you already have on hand to cover the meal. The items you did not cross out will make up your grocery list.
  2. For this meal you can knock out several items in one step by combining steps. For example, you can roast the acorn squash and bake the cupcakes at the same time in the 350° oven. Typically I will start with making the dessert first for any meal. Set your oven temp to pre-heat, then while you have your acorn squash roasting in the oven you can start preparing the cupcake batter recipe, and start baking them in the oven, you will have knocked out the start of two recipes using the oven for both. In fact you can roast the acorn squash and bake the cupcakes several days in advance of the dinner party, this will be a great jump start when the day of the party arrives.
  3. You can get all your vegetable chopping done ahead of time also, prep for the soup can be done a day or so ahead, just be sure to wrap all the items well and refrigerate. Chopping and storing all the fresh herbs can also be done a day ahead. Having all your items chopped and ready to go when it comes time to put together all the recipes will save you a lot of time when putting it all together.

I hope you have enjoyed this post entry as much as we and our guests enjoyed this meal with the Fall Luxury Dinner Party.
Enjoying a world of cuisine one fork full at a time!

 

Monique taking her first bite of the Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Monique taking her first bite of the Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes

More photos from the evening…

Family and friends enjoying the main dish.

Family and friends enjoying the main dish.

Tony relaxing and looking satisfied after the luxury meal.

Tony relaxing and looking satisfied after the luxury meal.

Continuing to enjoy a world of cuisine, one fork full at a time!

Bon appétit!
CCR
=:~)

©2010 CCR

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Tags: Contests · Recipes

49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pegasuslegendNo Gravatar // Oct 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I think Tony captured the moment…what alucky guy. And Monique with that cupcake can you tease us anymore? Wonder post you aced this one!

  • 2 Mardi@eatlivetravelwriteNo Gravatar // Oct 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    A beautiful table, friends and fab food – you captured it all beautifully. Good luck!!!

  • 3 5 Star FoodieNo Gravatar // Oct 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    A wonderful seasonal menu! The acorn squash soup is perfect as a first course and I’m loving those scrumptious cupcakes! Excellent!

  • 4 AngieNo Gravatar // Oct 3, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    What a fabulous menu, looks like everyone had a wonderful time!

  • 5 sippitysupNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Hurrah! GREG

  • 6 GloriaNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 10:09 am

    One word. WOW!

  • 7 ClaudiaNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

    This does indeed celebrate autumn – those chicken breasts took my breath away. Loved the relaxing at the end! That’s what it’s about. Relaxing with friends.

  • 8 Lori LynnNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Hi CCR – love your whole menu, the chicken dish especially. It’s fun to see pics of your friends and family, so homey. I bet everyone had a wonderful time. Great post! Good luck!
    LL

  • 9 MichelleNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Your guests look like they had a great time and in the end, that’s what matters most! Great job…I hope we can both advance to the next round of #PFB2010!

  • 10 Lael HazanNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

    What a GREAT fall meal! I loved the picture of Monique at the end. Well done.

  • 11 BrieNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 11:11 am

    this looks like a great time! the food looks delicious! great job – you have my vote! good luck!

  • 12 TiffanyNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Very well done! I am all over those bread sticks, and I just might have to try your Bourbon Sweet Potato Cupcakes too! Congratulations on advancing!

  • 13 Gera @ Sweets Foods BlogNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

    The best of the luck again in the challenge and what a beautiful menu!!

    All the best,

    Gera

  • 14 whatsfordinneracrossstatelinesNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

    The whole thing looked so good, but I think the cupcakes may have been my favorite! Good Luck!
    -Gina-

  • 15 NoelleNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Looks super fantastic. Congrats on a great party and great eats! You have my vote!

  • 16 Mary at Deep South DishNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Beautiful photos. Fantastic recipes. Gorgeous table. And that would be ME on that couch in the last picture LOL!! In fact, when my mama and daddy were living, that WAS me after every holiday meal. 🙂 You know you’ll have my vote all the way!

  • 17 Kristina (My Life as a Mrs)No Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Great Menu- that Pumkin Seed Crusted Chicken with Cajun Artichoke Beurre Blanc looked incredible! Good Luck! I voted for you!

  • 18 Priscilla - She's Cookin'No Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Everything looks and sounds so delicious. Fall and the seasonal foods that define it, is my favorite time of year! Congrats and good luck in progressing – I reserved a vote for you!

  • 19 doggybloggyNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I love the warm fall colors – I voted and tweeted – good luck!

  • 20 Whitney @ Amuse BoucheNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Ryan, I love the idea of the pumpkin seeds with the chicken, genius! voting right now brother!

  • 21 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Wow, the comments are flowing in like a tidal wave, thank you all so much!

    Claudia,
    Tony sure does tell the whole story, and Monique always makes a bite look good!

    Mardi,
    Thank you so much, I may tried to capture the entire look, taste, and feel of the dinner party, recipes included.

    Natasha,
    The soup is an amazing way to start with these cool fall temperatures, and the cupcakes…well they all went very quickly! Always appreciate your comments.

    Angie,
    We are still talking about this one, thank you so much!

    Greg,
    Your luxury dinner looks wonderful, sorry it was so hot for you, our heat wave ended last week. Thank you again!

    Gloria,
    Thank you!

    Claudia,
    So glad you liked the chicken dish, it is an amazing flavor. Thank you so much!

    Lori Lynn,
    Always glad to see you visiting and commenting, and thank you so much!

    Michelle,
    Voted for you too, and hope to see you in round 4 also. Thanks again!

    Lael,
    I agree, Monique really likes me taking those photos of her eating like that, really, she is my assistant and a real trooper! Thank you!

    Brie,
    Thank you for the comment and the vote!

  • 22 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Tiffany,
    So glad you like the bread sticks, quite easy to make. I wanted to add some sea salt to the outside similar to a pretzel, but was running on time!

    Gera,
    Always a pleasure to hear from you, hope you are feeling better real soon.

    Gina,
    So glad you like the cupcakes, they went quick too!

    Noelle,
    Thank you so much for the vote!

    Mary,
    I know you are really busy now, and thank you so much for the comment as I am sure Tony will agree!

    Kristina,
    So glad to hear that you liked the chicken entree, the sauce is one I have made for various chicken dishes. Thank you!

    Priscilla,
    So glad that you like the fall menu, and thank you for the vote!

    Christo,
    Appreciate the visit, the tweet, and the vote! Thanks for dropping by today!

    Whitney,
    Glad you like the pumpkin seed crust, but I cannot take full credit for the crusted chicken idea. Years ago a restaurant named Santa Fe which specialized in southwest cuisine in New Orleans did a similar chicken with pumpkin seed crust, I just expanded on the idea. Thank you!

  • 23 TorviewtorontoNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    love the fall theme and the dishes you made
    check out the event in my site

  • 24 MarticaNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Congratulations on making it thru!! Awesome menu!! Love all of it.

  • 25 Savory Sweet LivingNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Looks like a wonderful party and love your autumn theme. The food looks delicious and great entertaining tips. You got my vote and good luck!

  • 26 jen cheungNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    VOTEDDDDDDD! Good luck! Wish you all the best!

    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  • 27 Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatzNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    A lovely seasonal menu to heat up the heart and body on colder evenings. great job and of to vote for you! Thank you for your vote.

  • 28 Vegan Thyme (Kelly)No Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Chef! I just voted for you–right after I scrolled through this amazing and quite impressive spread! I just spent all day Saturday cooking–eight hours for ONE guest! I am such an over-achiever and a wreck when I have guests in my house–this post helps so much!
    Thanks and good luck to you!

  • 29 NattyNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I can’t wait to make those bread sticks! Looks like a happy, good time!

  • 30 MeganNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Dear Chef….. love the meal.. wish I was invited! Of course a vote for you! – Megs @ Foodalution.com

  • 31 Magic of SpiceNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Great entry and lovely menu…voted 🙂

  • 32 BlackswanNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Hey, what a lovely party! Voted & good luck!

    Dropping by from http://luxuryhaven.blogspot.com!

  • 33 penny aka jeroxieNo Gravatar // Oct 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Looking awesome! Have voted. So good luck~!

  • 34 Conor @ HoldtheBeefNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Those cupcakes sound incredible! Look quite incredible too, luckily 🙂

    Love that post-meal reclining shot too!

  • 35 The Cheap GourmetNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I loved everything about this luxury dinner meal and from the look on Tony’s face, I’d say it was a huge success. Great job, lovely dinner, fabulous photos, and very helpful party planning tips. You have my vote! Thanks for sharing your recipes. I must try everything!

  • 36 fooddreamerNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Everything looks amazing! Got my vote.

  • 37 My Carolina KitchenNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    What a lovely fall meal Chef. Very luxurious indeed. Good luck in the challenge.
    Sam

  • 38 @lickmyspoonNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Everything in this menu seems rustic and upscale at the same time. I bet the flavors in your soup melded perfectly. Good luck this week, you’ve got our vote!

    Lick My Spoon

  • 39 Liz Marr, MS, RDNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Lovely dinner, beautiful photos – it’s so nice to see people enjoying the food, in addition to food pics. That’s the full shot of a successful meal!

  • 40 MarijaNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Great menu and atmosphere!

    Good luck! I voted for you 🙂

  • 41 KatrinaNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    As a proud Irish/coona$$ mix, I’m so glad to have found your blog! The acorn squash soup and breadsticks are on my must try list. I’ll definitely trackback to this post .You have my vote 🙂

  • 42 Joe AnnNo Gravatar // Oct 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Gosh, everything looks so amazing! I no you put a lot of time into this meal. I’m eating healthy now, so i no i can do it justice. I voted for you. Thanks for your time and energy. Good Luck!!!!

  • 43 JessicaNo Gravatar // Oct 6, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Looks like it was a wonderful dinner party! Hope we both make it to the next round! 🙂 You have my vote!

  • 44 Anna JohnstonNo Gravatar // Oct 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Fabulous ‘fall dinner party’ chef! Excellent party planning tips, great photos too. You’ve got my vote Chef. Good job!

  • 45 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Toroview,

    We love the change of season too, and fall is one of our favorite, thank you!

    Martica,
    So glad you like the menu, and thank you so much!

    Savory,
    Appreciate the vote, and thank you!

    Evelyne,
    Hearts are warmed all over, thank you!

    Jen,
    Thank you for the vote!

    Kelly,
    Hey, eight hours of cooking for one is quite and achievement, and thank you for the vote!

    Natty,
    The bread sticks went quick, should have doubled the recipe!

    Megs,
    Always appreciate your support and vote, thank you!

    Magic,
    Thank you so much!

    Blackswan,
    Appreciate your vote, thank you!

    Jeroxie,
    Thank you so much!

    Conor,
    Glad you like the cupcakes, they went quick too!

    The Cheap Gourmet,
    I am so glad you liked the menu and planning tips, thank you!

    Fooddreamer,
    Appreciate the vote, thank you!

  • 46 ediblecvilleNo Gravatar // Oct 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    You had me with the first paragraph. This summer has been so unbearably hot that your list of ingredients was more refreshing than a fall breeze. Lovely menu! Cheers, you got my vote! Hope we both make it through to Round 4! http://bit.ly/cNNCrR

  • 47 JenniNo Gravatar // Oct 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    What a beautifully executed fall menu! Everything looks fantastic. Would’ve loved to have had a bite of that cupcake, at the Very Least! You have one of my votes!

  • 48 DanaNo Gravatar // Oct 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Next time invite me!! LOL everything looks wonderful (including the table – good job Monique)! Fantastic job with this challenge… good luck!

  • 49 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Wow, the continued support and comments on the Luxury Dinner post is amazing. Thank you all so very much for commenting, voting, and showing your support!

    Bon appetit!
    CCR
    =:~)